The Top 15 Free Activities in Pekin

Sometimes it can be hard to think of things to do that are fun for both children and adults. However, the Pekin area is full of free, fun activities for both young and old.

  1. Parks – There a many nice parks here in the Heart of Illinois. Pekin has the 5th largest park district in the state. Check out Pekin Park District’s website for a full list of parks. The parks are great places to enjoy a variety of activities like hiking, biking, playing at playgrounds, picnics, and simply enjoying nature. Make a game out of visiting all of the parks in Pekin and find out which park you like the best.

    Rotary Park in Pekin
    Rotary Park – one of the many parks in Pekin
  2. Riverfront Park – This park has a variety of activities, including a festival plaza, event meadow, grills, a gazebo, horseshoe courts, a walking trail, and a playground. But what really makes this park special is the water play area. Their interactive water fountains will entertain the children for hours.
    Pekin's Riverfront Park
    Pekin’s Riverfront Park

    riverfront Water Park - Pekin
    Riverfront Water Park – Pekin
  3. Boating on the Lagoon – Pekin would not be the same without the lagoon and its paddle boats. During the summer, the park offers free activities once a week. Check out our calendar for more information.

    Dragon Boat - Pekin Mineral Springs Park
    Enjoy the park while getting some good exercise
  4. Miniature Golf- Putt the Magic Dragon is a beautiful 18 hole course that is fun for all ages. During the summer, the park offers free admission dates. Check out our calendar for more information.

    Putt the Magic Dragon Mini Golf Course - Pekin
    Putt the Magic Dragon Mini Golf Course – Pekin
  5. DragonLand Water Park – DragonLand is a great place to spend the hot summer days and nights. Enjoy the water slides, the sandy beach, or just hang out in the pool. During the summer, the park offers free admission dates. Check out our calendar for more information.

    DragonLand Water Park Pekin
    DragonLand Water Park – Pekin
  6. Frisbee Golf – Pekin’s McNaughton Park includes an 18 hole frisbee golf course. All that is required to play is a frisbee.

    Pekin Frisbee Golf Course
    18 Hole Frisbee Golf Course @ McNaughton Park
  7. Sundial and the Sunken Gardens – Visit the Sunken Gardens during the day and enjoy the beautiful landscaping, learn how to tell time using the sun, and learn information about our solar system. Or visit the Gardens at night and enjoy the colorful fountain.
    World's Greatest Sundial - Pekin
    World’s Greatest Sundial

    Fountain in the Sunken Gardens
    Enjoy the colorful fountain in the evening
  8. Farmers & Art Market – June through September come check out the Farmers Market in downtown Pekin (every Thursday from 4-6 pm). The farmer’s market includes fresh food grown locally, but it also includes handmade items, arts and crafts, and live music. And the market has teamed up with “Link-Up Illinois” to  offer Double Value on Link Payment.

    Pekin Downtown's Farmer's and Art Market
    Get fresh, locally grown food and much more
  9. Movie Night – There are several ways to catch free movies in Pekin. Pekin Main Street, Pekin Park District, and the Pekin Library all have free movie nights. For more information, check out our calendar or visit their websites.
  10. Concerts – Live entertainment is a part of many free events in Pekin, like the Farmers Market. Starting June 28th listen to Pekin’s hometown band every Sunday night next to the Pavilion. See our calendar for more details.

    Concert - Pekin Park
    Concerts in the Pekin Park
  11. Skate Park – For older children, Mineral Springs Park has a skate park available for blades, skateboards, and bikes.

    Skate Park Pekin
    Pekin’s Skate Park
  12. Happy Tails Dog Park – For those with dogs, Happy Tails Dog Park is a great place to give man’s best friend a chance to run and play with other dogs.

    Happy Tails Dog Park - Pekin
    Happy Tails Dog Park
  13. Camping – Not many people realize that McNaughton Park allows tent camping for free. Although there is no fee, campers must file a permit with the park.

    Camp at McNaughton Park
    Take the family for a short camping trip at McNaughton Park
  14. Pekin Public Library – The library is more than just a great place to check out books and movies. They have free activities all year round. Check out their website for a full list of activities.

    Pekin Public Library
    Pekin Public Library has events that are fun for the whole family
  15. Geocaching – Geocaching is a great way to combine fun and education. Make sure you bring a trinket to leave behind. There are plenty of places to geocache in central Illinois. To get started, check out geocache sites like geocaching.com

    Official Geocache
    Take a trinket, leave a trinket

So there are some ideas for free activities in Pekin. Next up… free activities in East Peoria.

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